It’s the most delicious time of the year! I love looking back at the last 12 months to see what all deliciousness I was able to consume. This has become a regular feature here (see 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).
Tacos at La Esquina, Guatemala City, Guatemala
I had a lot of delicious stuff in Guatemala, but one of my favorites was pork and fish tacos in a trendy neighborhood of Guatemala City. I got there before they opened and was starving, but the wait was certainly worth it, especially on the blue corn tortillas.
Korean barbecue at The Stone Grill – Korean BBQ and Grill, Duluth, Georgia
I’m trying to explore more of my own city when I’m at home and my day in Atlanta‘s Koreatown was well spent. My friends at Explore Gwinnett showed me around, ordering the best dishes at this local restaurant.
French dip at Hofbrau der Albatross, Morro Bay, California
A friend of my mom’s recommended that we make a detour to Morro Bay on our California Road Trip and we were glad we did. It was a bitterly windy day, so the warm sandwiches and views of The Rock were perfect.
Falafel at Carmel Market, Tel Aviv, Israel
Everything I ate in Israel was nothing short of amazing. But the falafels, you guys. Not only were they delicious, with crunchy falafel balls and creamy tahini, but they were also super cheap. This one cost me less than $3 at a Tel Aviv stall, the cheapest dinner by far!
Delta tamales, Champy’s, Chattanooga, Tennessee
This was the only year in the past few that I didn’t go to Mississippi and I was feeling it! Thankfully, this regional chain sells authentic Delta tamales, along with fried chicken and tall boys of beer at their Southside Chattanooga location.
Gallo pinto with plantains and eggs, Random roadside restaurant, Isla De Ometepe, Nicaragua
Nicaragua isn’t really known for its restaurants, but it is known for its national dish: gallo pinto. The rice and beans mixture is served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I had it many times, but perhaps my favorite was on a rainy day in Ometepe. I had completed a long waterfall hike and was starving, so I was glad to see this home/restaurant with cute kids and animals running around.
Navajo taco, Cedar Pass Lodge, Badlands National Park, South Dakota
The first meal I had during my Black Hills road trip was traditional Navajo fry bread topped with buffalo meat and standard taco toppings like refried beans, salsa, and lettuce. It’s not the easiest dish to eat so use your knife and fork!
Lobster roll, Boston Public Market, Boston, Massachusetts
Boston has so many great restaurants, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a seafood restaurant. Red’s has an outpost at the downtown food hall and this lobster roll was everything I needed in life. The lobster was juicy and not totally cold, heated up by the toasted, buttery roll.
Dim sum, Dim Sum Palace, New York City, New York
The journey home from Boston was nothing short of hellish, but it allowed us to detour for the night in New York. We were starving by the time our bus rolled into Port Authority, but thankfully this dim sum place was still open. We chowed down on pork dumplings, chicken potstickers, and spicy cucumbers.
BLT Benedict, Egg Shop, New York City, New York
I went back to New York shortly after my detour the week before to meet up with my friends visiting from Australia. I woke up early one day to grab brunch at the much-hyped Nolita eatery. I still waited for a seat at the bar for at least half an hour, so be prepared! The Benedict was everything I want from an egg dish.
Cinnamon apple waffle, Tandem Creperie and Coffeehouse, Travelers Rest, South Carolina
I got out of Greenville one morning to see the quiet town home to this student favorite breakfast spot. The Insta-worthy interiors and cold brew coffee make it a popular spot for sweet or savory crepes. The Royal Red pasta at The Anchorage in Greenville was also life changing.
Egg and pastrami bagel, Bodo’s Bagels, Charlottesville, Virginia
My friends who are UVA alums told me this was the one place in Charlottesville I had to try and I am so glad I did. The authentic New York water bagels are perfect with eggs and pastrami. A close second to my favorite dish in Virginia was the grain bowl at Citizen Bowl.
Barbecue Shrimp, Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar, New Orleans, Louisiana
After arriving by Amtrak, I dropped my bags and immediately went to this Garden District restaurant for some of New Orleans‘ best seafood. The waiter brought me a bib when I ordered the barbecue shrimp, but I showed him I was no amateur, not getting a single drop on my shirt.
Vermicelli with pork and egg rolls, Pho Dai Loi 2, Atlanta, Georgia
I’m working towards trying one of every international eatery on Buford Highway and this spot was one I’d read a lot about. Their pho is supposed to be the best in town, but I opted for a dish that resembles bun cha, my favorite from my time in Vietnam.
Spicy miso ramen, Ramen-san, Chicago, Illinois
This place was packed when I visited during the week and I just barely grabbed a spot at the bar. The ground pork and perfectly soft boiled egg were among the best I’ve had in my travels. But the portions were huge!
Garlic Butter Crab Noodles, Sunda, Chicago, Illinois
After grabbing a drink with my friend AJ, I got a late bite at this trendy Asian fusion restaurant. I had the garlic butter crab noodles, which are just as they sound. The noodles were al dente and the crab was soft. I wanted to lick the bowl.
Razza skate wing, Eataly Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
I’d been to the New York location, but my experience at the Chicago location was excellent. I grabbed a seat at the seafood restaurant and watched them make my skate with butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, and apples. Must replicate at home.